New Maine law offers protections for small business

| Thursday, June 28, 2007

Maine Gov. John Baldacci has signed a bill into law intended to strengthen safeguards for small businesses in the state, including trucking operations. Small businesses in the state are defined as having 20 or fewer employees

The new law, previously LD905, requires state agencies to prepare an economic impact statement about the small businesses affected by proposed state regulations. It also requires a regulatory flexibility analysis that includes an agency’s consideration of less burdensome ways of achieving the rule’s purpose.

The public will have access to the information.

Supporters say the new rule is a significant step toward fairness for all small businesses that make up 97.5 percent of businesses in the state. Those businesses employ 61.2 percent of the state’s private workforce.

“With the signing of this bill, Maine small businesses are assured a stronger voice in the development of state regulations that affect them,” Rep. Chris Rector, R-Thomaston, said in a written statement.

Maine becomes the 20th state to implement similar protections. Arkansas, Texas and Washington have approved their own legislation this year.

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